When it comes to skincare ingredients, retinol stands out for its ability to reduce the signs of ageing. Here’s everything you need to know about this powerhouse skincare ingredient.
Retinol is a highly sought-after ingredient, but what is it exactly? Although it has become something of a buzzword in the world of beauty, retinol is, in fact, an umbrella term for retinoids. There are numerous types of retinoids in varying strengths – those with a high concentration are typically found in prescription products, while lower concentrations can be found In over-the-counter treatments. When used correctly, the ingredient is a skincare all-rounder, addressing dullness and the signs of ageing and boosting the production of elastin and collagen.
WHAT IS RETINOL? Retinol, a type of retinoid, is a derivative of vitamin A, a nutrient that contributes to cell turnover in the body. When used in topical skincare products, the ingredient helps to promote the natural production of collagen, boosts the skin’s ability to renew, and enhances overall skin tone. As well as its ability to improve the appearance of the skin, retinol also works much like an antioxidant. This means it protects against damage caused by free radicals and can go a long way in preventing some visible signs of ageing.
WHEN SHOULD I START USING IT? Most experts suggest introducing retinol into your skincare regime in your mid-twenties or early thirties because it addresses issues like breakouts, pigmentation and fine lines. That said, it is always advisable to consult with a dermatologist before using retinol because it can irritate if the formula is not quite right for your skin. It’s important to understand that retinol should be introduced to your skincare routine gradually, slowly increasing the concentration as your skin becomes more tolerant.
HOW AND WHEN SHOULD I USE IT? When introducing retinol to your regime, it’s best to use it once or twice a week. Apply a pea-sized amount at night, making sure that your skin is clean and dry. Make sure that you avoid your eye area, but don’t forget about your neck and decolletage, as these areas are also susceptible to the visible signs of ageing. If you find that this skin is too sensitive to the formula that you use on your face, it’s possible to use a separate product that has been specifically formulated for these areas.
Once you’ve applied retinol to the skin, wait around half an hour before using any other skincare products, as this will optimise its benefits. Over time, you’ll be able to apply the product more frequently as your skin adjusts.
When using retinol, there’s no need to use other exfoliators. In fact, too much exfoliation can cause damage to your skin barrier and lead to irritation. It’s very important that you wear an SPF every day, as retinol can increase photosensitivity.
If you’re planning a cosmetic treatment like microneedling, microdermabrasion or laser therapy, it’s advisable that you stop using retinol beforehand so that you don’t increase your skin’s sensitivity.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS? Although retinol can do amazing things for the skin, it is important to understand that it can affect people differently. Those struggling with skin conditions like rosacea, eczema or psoriasis may find the ingredient too strong and can even increase issues like sensitivity, dryness and inflammation.
If you use too much retinol, you might notice that your skin appears red, dry and irritated. These issues generally resolve as your skin adjusts to your new product. If, however, you find that your skin does not react well to the product, chat with your dermatologist about an alternative better suited to your particular skin type.
OUR FAVE RETINOL GO-TO | ENDOCARE RENEWAL
STEP BY STEP
Cleanse: Start your routine by thoroughly cleansing your face to remove impurities and prepare your skin for maximum product absorption.
Apply: Gently massage a small amount of the Endocare Renewal Retinol Serum onto your face and neck, focusing on areas prone to wrinkles and uneven texture.
Enhance: Follow with the Endocare Renewal Retinol Intensive Serum for intensified results. Apply a few drops to your skin and gently pat it in for optimal absorption.
Protect: Finish off with a broad-spectrum sunscreen to shield your skin from harmful UV rays, as retinol can increase sun sensitivity.
If you’re new to retinol, start off by using the 0.2 strength once a week for 3 weeks.
After this period, start introducing it twice a week for 2 months.
At this point, your skin should be used to retinol; start using the Intense Serum once every 2 weeks.
It’s suggested to use retinol for a 3-month period, and then break for 3 months and start the process again for optimal results.